Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission Funding Buoyed by Cannabis Tax Revenues

For the first time, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission is set to receive more than $1 million in cannabis tax revenues; typically, the commission is funded by contributions from residents that can generate between $30,000 and $40,000.

Full story after the jump.

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission last week approved a spending plan that, for the first time, includes funding from state cannabis taxes, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports. The cannabis tax contributions have buoyed the account to about $1.13 million; typically, the commission is funded by contributions by residents who check off the fund on their state income tax forms, which usually generates between $30,000 and $40,000.

The state legalization law requires that 4% of cannabis-derived sales taxes are used for nongame wildlife programs. Montana collects a 20% tax on adult-use cannabis sales and a 4% tax on medical cannabis sales.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wildlife division administrator Ken McDonald told the commission that the six-figure totals are a “really a nice infusion to help with management and conservation of a significant number of species” in the state.

The work plan includes habitat restoration and conservation work officials hope will keep “species of great conservation need” under state authority, rather than see those species become endangered, McDonald said.

McDonald identified two species – the pygmy rabbit and pinyon jays – as having been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act and the commission will use some of the funds to “help provide and improve habitat for these species,” he said. The work plan also includes a project to monitor bat populations for white-nose syndrome.

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